Home > Uncategorized > Richard Stern: an excerpt

Richard Stern: an excerpt

The Chicago writer Richard Stern has a new collection of nonfiction pieces out called “Still on Call.” This excerpt deals with the fundamental difference between fictional characters and real people:

“A fictional existence needs but a tiny proportion of what constitutes real life. . . . [Fictional characters] offer clarity seldom experienced in the murk and complexity of real life. . . . Fictional people have been honed and sharpened, rehoned and resharpened into a kind of perfection which not even the greatest saints, sages and heroes of real life touch. There is no revision in real life. Even if one makes up for what one has badly done, the make-up action exists alongside the “original.” And even in the best of real life action, there is so much accompanying complexity, both ex- and interior, so much that reveals next to nothing, that it never approaches the comparative purity of fictional action where every thought, dream, opinion, exchange and interaction matters. The individuality of a living being may resemble that of an author’s creation, but the creation is purer, clearer, as reflections in water, free of the bedazzlement and impurities of the atmosphere, are clearer and usually more beautiful than what they reflect.”

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: